University News

WIU's Sixth Annual Pay It Forward Blood Drive Feb. 3

January 22, 2016

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MACOMB, IL — In celebration of National Blood Donation Month, Western Illinois University's Sixth Annual Pay it Forward Blood Drive will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3 in the Heritage Room of the University Union.

The drive was initially inspired by a graduate level class at WIU and came from an idea generated by WIU staff member and Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) alumni Gretchen Steil-Weiss and Shannon Reed.

Steil-Weiss and Reed developed the blood drive idea as part of a class taught by Associate Professor Diane Sandage, where they were assigned to develop a "pay it forward" project. Both women have been personally impacted by life situations involving the need for blood, so they worked together to organize and implement a blood drive.

Blood donors provide a critical, lifesaving resource at local hospitals, and a single blood donation can support up to three individuals.

Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center will host the event, which is open to the public.

Anyone who would like to give blood for the event can contact Steil-Weiss at or Reed at Walk-in donation sessions will open at 11 a.m.

The last date to have donated elsewhere is Dec. 9. If you've recently received a tattoo, you're eligible to donate as long as the tattoo was applied in a licensed facility in a regulated state.

Donors should eat something before coming to the donation sessions and bring photo identification. For more information on blood donation, visit

Posted By: Joshua Pedroza-O'Leary (
Office of University Communications & Marketing